The GrocerToday team hope all our visitors enjoy their festive break and come back refreshed for the new challenges of 2003.

Our daily news service will kick off again on January 2 and the next edition of The Grocer magazine will be out on Saturday January 4, with features on Arla’s foray into foodservice, how retailers are facing up to haulage challenges, and the potential for really innovative new products across all food and drink categories.

In the meantime, all the news sections on GrocerToday are free to registered users and can be accessed during our holiday break.

Below are the 10 events that shook the industry this year ...

1. Tesco and Sainsbury led the way in introducing factory gate pricing to drive down supply chain costs
2. Retailers started using online auctions in earnest
3. Tesco announced its intentions to buy the convenience chain T&S
4. The Co-operative Group bought the ailing Alldays convenience chain
5. Sainsbury led the push to get suppliers revealing all through open book costing
6. The Don Curry report on the Policy Commission into the Future of Food and Farming was published
7. Interbrew sold Carling to Coors
8. The restrictions to control foot and mouth disease were finally lifted
9. Irish chain Musgraves bought convenience retailer Budgens
10. Walkers bought the Wotsits brand from Golden Wonder

And The Grocer’s top ten forecasts for next year ...

1. Price deflation will continue
2. The manufacturing sector will consolidate
3. All retailers will introduce factory gate pricing
4. A crisis in staff recruitment, particularly for small stores
5. Congestion charges will kick in around the country
6. A downturn in consumer spending as interest rates rise
7. A technology boom with shelf-edge labels and RFID
8. The euro will be ruled on
9. The convenience sector will gain bigger market share
10. More global sourcing